A municipal workers’ union, affiliated to the Shiv Sena, has alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has jeopardised the security of the city’s pipelines by shifting security personnel manning them to civic hospitals to protect doctors during their recent strike.
The Municipal Workers’ Kamgar Sena (MWKS) alleged that the BMC shifted 39 guards manning 27 points along a 28-km stretch of pipelines running from Thane to Bhiwandi.
Sunil Chitnis, working president, MWKS, said, “The BMC’s decision to withdraw these guards from the pipelines is ridiculous and dangerous, because it makes pipelines vulnerable to attacks. The BMC should instead fill up the 800 vacant posts for security guards immediately.”
Civic officials defended their decision.
“The decision was taken only after strengthening the entry and exit points on that stretch. If the entry and exit points are strongly guarded, we do not need additional security guards to man the middle stretch,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner.
Interestingly, Shiv Sena leaders in the BMC defended the administration’s move.
“The decision was made only after ensuring there are no security hazards along the pipelines,” said standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale.
Another civic official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The union is exploiting this issue because the guards deployed at the pipelines had their own vested interests in manning the particular spots they were allotted. Hence, there was no harm in shifting them elsewhere.”